One of the primary tenets of Medicine is Primum non nocere a Latin phrase that means First, do no harm. The Senate version of the Obamacare bill ignores that phrase and is poised to raise health care costs for all Americans, of all income groups, not only through taxes but via fees on health products that will be passed along to consumers. Below is an outline of the unlucky (for America) 13 New Taxes in Harry Reid’s Bill:
- 40% excise tax on health coverage in excess of $8,500/$23,000 indexed for inflation by CPI-U plus 1% and increased thresholds for over age 55 retirees or certain high-risk professions; levied at insurer level; employer aggregates and issues information return for insurers indicating amount subject to the excise tax; nondeductible; high 17 state transition relief
- Conform the definition of medical expenses for health savings accounts, Archer MSAs, health flexible spending arrangements, and health reimbursement arrangements to the definition of the itemized deduction for medical expenses (excluding over-the-counter medicines prescribed by a physician). Effectively this is a tax on Seniors and the Poor.
- Increase the penalty for nonqualified health savings account distributions to 20%. This penalty takes money out of the hands of the middle and low income families that need to dip into their medical savings account for emergencies.
- Limit health flexible spending arrangements in cafeteria plans to $2,500. The flexible plans are a favorite of the middle class.
- Impose annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs. Those fees will be passed on the the consumer.
- Impose annual fee on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices. This is essentially a tax on Seniors as the fees for medical items needed by older citizens, such as pacemakers, hip joint replacements, powered wheelchairs, hearing aids, and Prosthetic heart valve rotators, will be passed along to consumers.
- Impose annual fee on health insurance providers. A deliberate attempt to raise the costs of the public plan’s competition.
- Eliminate deduction for expenses allocable to Medicare Part D subsidy.
- Raise 7.5% AGI floor on medical expenses deduction to 10%; AGI floor for individuals age 65 and older (and their spouses) remains at 7.5% (sunset 12/31/16). Tax Increase for everyone who is 59 years old and under today.
- $500,000 deduction limitation on taxable year remuneration to officers, employees, directors, and service providers of covered health insurance providers. Basically a tax on insurance companies designed to deflate the wages of its Employees.
- Additional 0.5% hospital insurance tax on wages in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 joint). This is NOT indexed for inflation. As inflation hits the economy this tax will reach below the $200,000 ($250,000 joint) level.
- Modification of section 833 treatment of certain health organizations. This reduces deductions allowed by the IRS. Increases the taxes and costs the insurance companies, making it harder for them to compete with the government control option.
- Impose 5% excise tax on cosmetic surgery and similar similar procedures. There goes my hair plugs.
Source: Joint Council on Taxation
This country is in the midst of a deep recession. The only way to get out of it is to reduce taxes on individuals and businesses so they can grow, spend and create new jobs. The Harry Reid version of the Obamacare bill, will increase taxes and fees on those individuals and businesses insuring that economic growth in the United States is retarded for years to come. Unlike medicine, this bill’s tenet is at first DO harm.
See the full Spreadsheet from the Joint Council on Taxation Below: